Tips on punching in, light switch modification, mic flags, and fans
May 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By John Landry, CSRE
Many new installations use 110 blocks from ADC/Krone. With one major router manufacturer wiring them with a non-standard method, it is easy to get confused when troubleshooting or adding new sources and destinations to a system already up and running.
Howard Mullinack of SAS came up with an idea: Print a new template on Avery peel-off labels and place them over the plastic panel in the center of the Krone block. While there isn't much room for a complete description, it is enough to separate the multiple grounds hidden on pairs from the active audio pairs. Mitch Glider of Westwood One came up with an improvement: Print the peel-off templates in color. Red, black and green are easier to see and distinguish. And to clarify the block layout even more, Mitch covers the original pair numbers with White-Out.
Leave the light on
This photo was submitted by a reader of a solution he saw while visiting an office. It appears that someone wanted a way to have access to the light switch, but didn't want it turned off regularly or inadvertently. A small conduit hanger was installed over the switch. The holes in the hanger line up with the holes in the switchplate. The switch can still be turned on and off, but it takes a little more effort.
It's amazing how expensive some things have gotten. No I am not talking about gas, or copper, but mic flags! How many of them have gotten stolen at remotes? And how many do you have lying around with old letters or logos on them that the PD won't let you use?
Well the boss (our own editor Chriss Scherer) came up with a simple quick fix. Chriss needed a mic flag in a hurry for a last-minute interview. He took an old one he had lying around and removed the extinct logo with naptha. (Mineral spirits is another good choice. I do not recommend acetone because it can destroy the plastic if too much is used.) Wash the flag thoroughly once it's clean. He then printed new logos on 2" � 4" clear address labels in a color printer and placed them onto the now "naked" mic flag. Running a blade along the bottom edge trimmed the 4" long label to the proper length. While not as durable as the quality screened or printed versions, it does the job nicely.
As springtime gets warmer, so will your transmitter shack. Another spring chore at the transmitter is to make sure the fans, blowers and dampers are all working properly.
One suggestion to make blower maintenance easier came from a discussion at an SBE meeting: Install quick disconnects to simplify blower removal or inspection. In some cases, the blower may be connected with wire nuts, which are also convenient, but in time the wire ends will fray.
All blowers that require regular lubrication or belt replacement should have a manual disconnect switch nearby. And OSHA requires that switch be locked out and tagged out when a person is in working on a blower. Quick disconnects are good for convenience, but there is no substitute for safety.
Landry is an audio maintenance engineer at CBS Radio/Westwood One, New York.
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